TOPEKA (KSNT) – A Topeka native, Bob Miller’s military journey took him around the globe.

Serving in naval communications, Miller acted as a bridge – helping those at sea get the updates they needed to hear. Growing up in the Midwest, Miller saw the military as not only a way to serve his country, but see the world like never before.

“I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to travel, and go someplace else besides Topeka,” Miller said.

Travel he did, serving across the Philippine Islands, Japan, Hawaii and Guam, this Kansas lad saw more of the world than he ever imagined.

A communications yeoman, Miller would receive messages from ships and planes at sea, transmitting those reports directly to the group that would take action.  

“If there’s a captain on the ship and he tells the communications to send this message, well there better be somebody at the station on shore to receive that message. I’m that guy,” Miller said.

In addition to the naval communication between captains, Miller would have the responsibility to deliver the best or worst news imaginable to sailors at sea.

“Sometimes they were happy ones with the birth of a child, and sometimes they were sad – a loved one passed away,” Miller said. “If they didn’t send these messages, it might be three weeks before that sailor receives a letter, telling him that a parent or sibling had passed away. We’re happy to be able to provide that also.” 

During his time abroad, he learned how important every role contributing towards a common goal truly is.

“Approximately 90% of the military jobs are all support roles,” Miller said. “Communication, supply, mechanics to work on airplanes and trucks, cooks to make sure we were all well fed. Those are all support roles for the men that are on the line. If that role is not completed correctly, then there’s a failure, and that failure can cost people.” 

Today, Miller stays active. Keeping that traveling spirit, he visits new places around the country with his wife of 50 years.